We employed the constitutive BCK1-20 allele of the gene for the MAP kinase kinase kinase (MAP-KKK) in the yeast Pkc signal transduction pathway to develop a genetic screen for mutants in genes encoding upstream components. Transposon mutagenesis yielded a mutant that was completely dependent on the active allele in the absence of osmotic stabilization. The transposon had integrated at the yeast SLG1 (HCS77) locus. This gene encodes a putative membrane protein. Haploid slg1 deletion strains are sensitive to caffeine, as expected for mutants in the Pkc pathway, as well as a variety of other drugs. The response to elevated temperatures and the dependence on osmotic stabilization depends on the genetic background. Thus, in the strain used for mutagenesis, disruption of SLG1 causes the cells to become non-viable in the absence of osmotic stabilization at both 30 degrees C and 37 degrees C. In a different genetic background this phenotype was not observed. Sensitivity of the haploid deletion mutants to caffeine can be partially suppressed by overexpression of genes for other components of the Pkc pathway, such as PKC1, SLT2, ROM2, and STE20. In addition, a SLG1-lacZ reporter construct shows higher expression in the presence of caffeine or magnesium chloride in a wild-type diploid background.